“Own your own power and your voice. Do not let other people define you.”
-Misty Copeland, dancer
One of the saddest things I talk about with couples impacted by ADHD is how each person feels he or she loses their own voice in their struggling relationship. This often is a result of parent/child dynamics and the power struggles that ensue.
How do you find the balance between being you, and being a good partner?
I think that’s a false dichotomy. Does it need to be one or the other? Why not both?
We all have an inner core person – that’s the ‘voice’ Copeland is referring to. ADHD symptoms mask that voice by interfering with its clear transmission. With those symptoms unmanaged, ADHD partners are often inconsistent, irritable and overwhelmed even if they are really great people. But management of ADHD allows most with ADHD to become both ‘them’ and also a good partner. In fact, managing ADHD sometimes allows an ADHD partner to be ‘more’ themselves than they could be before because FINALLY the symptoms that were in the way of that voice being heard are moved aside.
In non-ADHD partners, responses to ADHD can mask one’s inner voice by making us demanding, over-controlling and resentful. Many feel ‘lost’ in the relationship and its problems. It’s hard to meet your full potential in that mode.
But we have power if we engage it! Power to make choices that put us back onto the path we want to be on. Power to choose to learn all we can about ADHD and improve treatment. Power to choose to move away from parent/child dynamics. Power to choose to create blocks of time to attend to each other. And time to make time for our relationships.
We CAN find our voices in ADHD-impacted relationships with the choice of healthy, ADHD relationship friendly strategies.
Adult ADHD can have a huge impact on your relationship. ADHDmarriage.com can literally change your life! Find great resources for couples impacted by ADHD including free: Online treatment overview; Downloadable chapters of my books; A community forum with other couples facing similar issues; A large number of blog posts on various topics; Referrals.
Is your relationship in trouble? Consider my highly acclaimed couples' course: ADHD Effect In-Depth Couples' Seminar - This 8-session phone seminar has helped many couples thrive in healthier, happier relationships. The live session starts Fall, 2020.